Oracle: BEA canceled meeting at last minute

Oracle and BEA Systems traded salvos over the series of events that led to Oracle's $6.7 billion bid for the company.

Oracle and BEA Systems on Friday traded salvos over the series of events that led to Oracle's bid for the company.

Oracle, in a letter sent by President Charles Phillips to BEA's board of directors, said that BEA canceled a meeting scheduled for Friday and declined attempts to reschedule.

Oracle, which has made a $6.7 billion offer to buy BEA, also said that it remained "committed to its proposed price of $17 per share." BEA earlier on Friday rejected Oracle's bid, saying it seriously undervalued the company.

In the letter, Oracle contends that BEA agreed to meet with Oracle at 10 a.m. on Friday and "intended to result in the execution of definitive agreements before the open of business on Monday, October 15." Oracle said BEA canceled that meeting late Thursday night.

"Our proposed price is a substantial premium to an already-inflated price that reflected speculation of the potential sale of BEA," according to the letter sent by Phillips.

Oracle also said it was prepared to go ahead immediately with a process that would lead to a friendly transaction.

BEA responded late Friday by releasing a copy of a letter sent to Phillips by William Klein, a BEA representative.

"Dear Charles: Let me clarify your misunderstanding and set the record straight...We did not agree to meet this morning to commence a process, and we did not agree to your proposal that the process result in a definitive agreement by Monday," according to the letter.

Klein also reiterated BEA's position that the company is worth "substantially more" than the $17 per-share bid proposed by Oracle.

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